Bossier Parish Leaders Want To Expand High Speed Internet
Bossier Parish leaders are looking to spend some money to get better internet coverage across their parish. Their current goal is to get internet service providers to fill in the gaps where residents have poor service, or no service at all.
Numbers from Bossier Parish say that 11.2% of residents in the Parish don't have access to broadband internet service.
The Parish is looking to pull money from multiple resources to make this happen. Bossier Parish Administrator Bill Altimus said in a release that there are three places they can pull money from, including $342 million through the state of Louisiana's Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), $180 million in the state's GUMBO Grant Program, and $1.8 billion for the state of Louisiana from the federal American Rescue Plan that targets water, sewer and broadband.
Bossier Parish has already received $5.8 million from the state's RDOF to help entice companies to expand broadband services in the Parish. But Altimus says the Parish needs help from its residents.
Altimus serves on the Governor’s Broadband for Everyone in Louisiana (BEL) Commission, is asking for residents to fill out a survey about their access to broadband, their speeds, and their overall service. The survey is at https://dra.gov/research/broadband-mapping/#speedtest
Altimus said in a release:
“If people who live in areas where broadband service is non-existent or very poor, completing this test, will certainly help us. We are continuously talking to providers about coming to Bossier Parish. We need to be able to help them identify areas of most need.”
Parish officials say they have formed a new committee in anticipation of more broadband expansion in the Parish.